Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sure, But Maybe He Should Be

When asked why Schneider and not Flores given today's day game and opposing lefty starter, Manny Acta said something about wanting Schneider to work with Hill. That's a reasonable explanation, and one that's really hard to disagree with given the results.
But Manny went further:
"Schneider's our everyday guy anyways," Acta said. "He's not a platoon guy."

He's right in that he hasn't been platooned, but should he?
      AVER  OBPR  SLGR     AVEL  OBPL  SLGL
2006: .251 .325 .333 .271 .304 .318
2005: .269 .331 .435 .265 .324 .294
2004: .260 .334 .409 .244 .286 .360
2003: .243 .315 .403 .179 .282 .358
TOTAL .255 .324 .395 .249 .309 .332

Almost every player has some sort of platoon split, so pointing out that a left-handed batter has a harder time with lefties isn't ground-breaking stuff.

Against right-handed pitchers, .255/.324/.395 is a pretty good line. That's basically league average for a catcher. When you factor in his defense, he's a solid, better-than-average backstop.

But against lefties, he's almost worthless. That .249/.309/.332 career line is execrable, and he'd have to be the lovechild of Johnny Bench and Pudge Rodriguez -- man, that'd be an ugly baby -- to be an asset to a team.

So while Manny Acta is right in that Schneider hasn't been a platoon catcher (save for a brief time in '05 when Frank inexplicably fell in love with Gary "PB" Bennett), maybe he should be.

Jesus might not be the second coming -- and in baseball, the devil you don't know is often preferred to the one you do -- but starting him against tough lefties to give Schneider a breather would make sense.

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